I have murder on my mind… my printer has gone on the blink.

With a deadline fast approaching it’s good to be able to rely on computers, printers and modern technology to be there and to work beautifully. After all, isn’t that why we spend so much of our hard-earned cash on them?

So,… my printer has gone on the blink.  Okay, I don’t submit my writing by snail mail, but, it would be good to print it off and actually see what my masterpiece looks like. We don’t always pick up on the little mistakes, on a computer screen – but, when we read from a printed piece… it’s all too obvious. Our stupid mistakes STAND OUT! YOU ARE SO STUPID!

I’ve devoted the best part of two of my precious days this week, trying to coax the little sod into actually printing what I need it to print. It prints – but nothing that I want. I’ve done printer maintenance, changed cartridges, being on help sites, cleaned the printer heads with alcohol and so many other things I can’t remember. I’ve lost the will to live and seriously fantasized about purchasing an axe and smashing the blasted thing into little pieces. But, I suspect the actually axing to death of the damn thing would aggravate my fibromyalgia something rotten.

I’ll kill it in a story instead.

I might also buy  a new printer. So, my son-in-law can arrive the day after I’ve set up the new printer, press a button and make it all better – because he actually understands these things. And before you say it… no, he can’t talk me through it on the phone, because I am a complete computer, tablet, mobile phone and printer der brain.

It was all so much better in the days of typewriters. With a typewriter I would actually have a typed copy. Granted it would be covered in Tippex, have numerous typed over words and it would be my 100th attempt at getting it right… but it would be physical. I could hold it in my hand… and see the glaringly stupid mistake – right at the beginning of the feature. Then, I could take the same axe to the typewriter.

I’m not violent  – honestly. Just a wee bit frustrated by all of this wonderful modern technology.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go and drown a printer… then I’ll attack it with an axe!

Anyone else having fun with their technological gismos?

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

A right load of old garbage.

wheelie-bin-saga-2Back in the day, here in the UK and I’m guessing quite probably in a quite a few other parts of the world, households had a simple metal dustbin. We even made up songs about it here in good old Blighty.

My old man’s a dustman he wears a dustman’s hat. He wears cor blimey trousers and he lives in a council flat.”

 

Sang Lonnie Donegan in 1960.

And here’s the proof.

Once upon a time the dustman came to collect your one metal dustbin, which was discretely tucked away in a corner of your garden. He would leave the lid and haul the bin, on his shoulder to the waiting wagon. Then, he would return the empty bin, replace the lid and if you were super lucky… close the gate after himself. And the bins were emptied every week – not fortnightly.

The downside of it was – there were massive landfill sites, scarring the landscape and gulls the size of a small dog feasting on the festering mess.  We were rapidly running out of places to dump our garbage and something had to be done.

These days we have a bin for household waste, recycled waste and garden waste.

wheelie-bin-saga

They come in lovely bright colours, such as blue, green and black. Some of us have small courtyard gardens and have opted to use garden refuse sacks, which have to be bought  and a licence obtained in order for the bin men to stop and lob the sacks  into the back of their huge wagons.

The remaining two bins in garish colours and proudly displaying the name of our local borough council – lest we forget who the magnificent things belong to, take up about a sixth of our yard. They blend in perfectly and in summer positively hum – but not with the sound of insects.

At this point, after I’ve emptied an entire bottle of concentrated disinfectant into it and it still smells like a mini landfill – because it has been sitting there festering in a heat wave for two weeks, I dump it the passage at the back of our cottages.

The day before bin day we drag the monsters around to the front of the house. I know there are some folk out there who have about a mile to walk from their house to the bottom of the lane, with their wheelie bin… because these super-duper vans can’t come up the lanes these days. We are asked to put the bins out for 6am on the collection day. I have yet to see a van out at that time – but, we live with the fear of being left with the festering mess for another two weeks – that would give us a month’s worth of garbage – very nasty garbage to contend with.

It’s easy to see when the bin men have been… various wheelie bins are scattered all over the pavement. If you’re pushing a pushchair, or driving a scooter enormous fun can be had tackling the obstacle course. Sometimes you actually have to move the bins out-of-the-way.

In order to cut down on the waste material that can now be sent for recycling, packages arrive in huge cardboard boxes filled with about a tree’s worth of brown paper. The pen that you ordered is in perfect condition and the box and paper fill your recycling bin.

I’ve had a run – in with our local council recently over them failing to empty our recycling bin. It was happening all too frequently. We live on the main road that runs through the heart of our village. On bin day the road is a sea of bin wagons and yet on several occasions recently not one of them stopped to empty our bins.

Just what kind of service were we paying for and surely common sense should have told them to stop and sort out the line of seven eagerly waiting to be emptied bins? Er… no.

Anyhow, after a series of rather silly emails that they sent to me and which annoyed the hell out of me, the matter has now been happily rectified.

At my most mad moment I took to Twitter… a la Donald Trump style.

Just who the hell do I think I’m talking to? I asked myself. I’m not one of the most powerful people in the world.

But, it felt so good. I’ll give Trump that.

However my series of garbled and somewhat confusing messages will be out there forever! Not so good.

I growled at the woman in the refuse department when she couldn’t and wouldn’t answer my questions.

” If you don’t stop shouting at me I will end this call.” She told me.

Honey, if you think that is shouting you need to develop thicker skin. I didn’t swear at you, insult you, or use my extensive sarcasm on you. I had to raise my voice because you wouldn’t let me get a word in edgeways!

All is now well in the garbage garden and we’ve kissed and made up. I have the manager of the department on speed dial and I’ve emailed him to ask him to send my apologies to the woman who was on the end of my frustration.

I was going to ring her and then I thought she might just have a nervous breakdown. Best not.

My beautiful garbage bins are now back in the garden and look as wonderful as ever. And, as I’ve taken delivery of a packet of TENS Machines pads this morning… the packaging for it has now filled the recycling bin. Roll on the next fortnight!

How about you?

Do your bins get emptied and do the bins fill your garden? Do they hum to you in summer? It would be interesting to know how other parts of the world tackle their garbage.

I know – I need to get out more.

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

 

 

Walking upright is so underrated: confessions of a temporary Quasimodo.

walking-post-2Well hallelujah! I can walk upright again and without the aid of my trusty walking stick. Walking upright is so very underrated.

Sunday saw me resembling some weird combination of Quasimodo crossed with a constipated duck. What does a constipated duck look like? Me – yesterday. I had that slow and slightly wobbly walk that they have. Hunched over and unable to straighten to my full 5ft 7 ins I tried to adopt a graceful and dignified walk.

Hubby told me : ” You look fine… you’re hardly bent over at all. “ But, I was using every bit of my strength and resolve to stay as upright as possible. My muscles at the base of my spine and in my pelvis burned, and screamed for me to sit down. They felt like rubber bands that would snap at any moment.

Back inside, I relented and Quasi was back BIG TIME!

” You stand more upright when you’re outside, you need to go outside again.” said my terribly, sympathetic husband.

Oh, you’re so funny!

Thinking about it, he probably won’t have that much sympathy. He has Parkinson’s disease and for the last twenty years since he was diagnosed,  he has gradually become more and more bent over. The difference is… he doesn’t get any relief from it. He doesn’t suddenly straighten up, like me today. He has it day in and day out… and he doesn’t moan about it – or blog about it!

Yesterday has made me appreciate just how great it is to walk tall. True, I am still sore and tender, but I am truly grateful for being able to unfurl to my true height.

I don’t know what caused my temporary back problems. It could be linked to one of many things at present.

I have given up gluten to try to help my daily headaches/migraines. I honestly can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a headache.

Some folk who give up gluten experience the withdrawal symptoms and I’m one of those. Well, what a surprise?

I’ll bore you with the ins and outs of that in a future post… when I can stay awake long enough.

walking-post-1

Right now, I’m just here to celebrate being able to walk upright again… for now.

Not a bad way to start a virgin week I reckon.

Thanks for dropping by and have yourself a great start to the new week.

Dorne (Quasi)  x

Do you remember Dixon of Dock Green in the sixties? A Saturday trip down memory lane.

childhood

There’s something special about Saturdays. I was born on a Saturday night, just as Jack Warner as Sergeant Dixon in Dixon of Dock Green said “Evening all!” I’m led to believe that this was about 9.20 pm. My paternal grandma watching it downstairs, turned up the sound on the television as I screamed upstairs,throughout the episode. When it had finished she investigated the source of the noise pollution. She loved me really… and me her.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with 1960’s television shows in the UK, here’s a clip of the opening titles.

 

You’ve got to admit that’s pretty gripping stuff. Cor blimey! This show went on for many years. Sergeant Dixon brought me into the world and accompanied me throughout most of my childhood.

As a very naughty six-year-old that crawled the length of the children’s hospital ward underneath the beds, to hide from the nurses; used the beds as trampolines and swung from the toilet chains, I had my tonsils removed. I also pretended to be falling asleep and then made my bid for freedom, as the poor surgical staff tried to anaesthetise me. Round and round the room I raced, like a caged animal trying to escape. Someone opened a door and I saw my escape… only to be captured by a mad scramble of frustrated, but relieved hands.

“I’m going to sleep now.” I told them and waited for that awful black mask to be removed from my face.

I woke up on the ward, minus my tonsils and feeling cross with myself for letting them get the better of me.

For being such a good girl? I got a Lady Penelope doll. I was Thunderbirds crazy. My Lady Penelope wasn’t chauffeured around by Parker in a pink Rolls Royce, no…  she drove herself in a blue, plastic jeep. She drove like a mad woman and did things for herself. She didn’t wear the shop bought costumes. I made my own creations for her and I think mum might have chipped in as well with a few items. She was a hippy with headbands, maxi dresses and was nothing like her television personality. She talked with a Yorkshire accent and didn’t brush her hair very much. She climbed trees, played in mud and sand and just lived like a child.

Here’s the Thunderbird’s version of her Ladyship in action.

Later on, as a teenager, Saturday meant pay-day for my paper round and a free Mars bar. I’d buy a can of coke and slurp, and munch my way around my paper round. Then I’d head off to Music College for the morning. I played clarinet. I still have it and occasionally I try the odd Clarinet concerto… as one does. My mouth is not used to the reeds these days and I get blisters. Also, it sounds like a cat on heat! The poor thing can’t get any relief.

These days Saturdays are still special to me. It’s almost as if I can feel them. The traffic that meanders its way through the village and past our cottage sounds different and feels different. I can almost feel that Saturday shopping anticipation/ going to the match/ to visit friends. No work – for some. At this time of the year Christmas shopping is picking up and the excitement levels of guys being dragged off to shopping centres is at an all time high.

Early on a Saturday morning I  roam the sleeping village streets with the Daisy dog and imagine the snoring folk behind the closed blinds and curtains. Eventually, they will rise, without the aid of an alarm and sleepily wander into their Saturday.

The only part of Saturday I can’t abide is the evening television. It’s all stupid game shows, dancing, prancing and mindless garbage for morons. Yeah, I love it. I persuade hubby to binge watch zombies, controlling presidents/politicians and aliens. A bit like Brexit and the Amercian Presidential Election really!

So, that’s a muddled up post about Saturdays/ childhood memories and a bit of other stuff thrown into the mix.

And to think that this all started off with some fog and frost this morning. It got me out of bed… to photograph it and it got me thinking about Saturday.

There may be some of you who would have preferred the fog and frost… SORRY! But, memory lane got in there first.

So, did any of you have a Lady Penelope doll? Watch Thunderbirds? Play clarinet? Do you remember Dixon of Dock Green? Have your tonsils removed in childhood? Climb trees?

I’m off to walk the Daisy dog now and climb a few trees! Oh, and I forgot to mention the roller skating. Maybe next time.

Thanks for reading.

Dorne x

 

 

 

What’s this obsession with everything being neat and tidy: a quick rant!

wp_20161117_14_23_53_proIn the village where I live we have masses of leaves. My picture shows the Daisy dog having to brave these evil, little critters!  These leaves have to be controlled. They lie around in their masses, just waiting to gang up on some poor, innocent soul. I doubt other places have the same amount of leaves that we have. They are just everywhere… waiting for some excited child to run through them.

This is so not right.

So, this morning three boys from the local council came along to our road, which is the main road that winds through the village. They’d clearly heard about the leaves collecting on the grass verges and in the gutters. These untidy objects  needed to be dealt with. Why? They just did. These leaves are loitering without intent… or something along the lines of that.

leaf-blowing

Out came the leaf blowers and one guy with an old-fashioned rake. The two with the leaf blowers had enormous fun with their toys as they blew the leaves off the grass, into the air – making wonderful patterns in the air and then in to the gutters. The one with the rake just messed around up the lane for a bit… sulking – he’d wanted a leaf blower as well, but there was only two.

Both drains at the bottom of the opposite lane are well and truly blocked now. Bring on the rain and the flooded road that will follow… and I’ll be bolting to the sand bag store. Actually, these days I don’t bolt anywhere – it’s more of a wobbly slob.  But, at least the evil critters that littered the grass have been moved… about six feet to the left of where they were loitering before.

Also, and this is the really good part, anyone coming along with a pushchair or mobility scooter will not be able to locate the dropped kerb. It is several inches under the mound of festering leaves. How cool is that?

These three Christmas elves (gone very wrong)  wearing high-vis jackets have cleared off now and we are left with really big mounds of wicked leaves to go jump in slob about in. My grandson isn’t here – so someone has to do it!

High winds will re-distribute the leaves back to where they damn well want to settle. That’s evil nature for you.

Just what the hell was all that about? And we as taxpayers funded it? Well done to the jumped up little upstart that thought up that great plan, from behind his overly large, and very tidy desk.

My, I’m turning into a miserable, moaning old cow.

Why can’t folk leave things alone and let nature be her messy, beautiful self?

If those Christmas elves want something to do, they could come back after the bin men have been at lunchtime today. There’ll be plenty of stuff that doesn’t make it on to the wagon. It’ll save me picking it up, when I walk the Daisy dog later on.

But no, I guess the elves will be somewhere else aimlessly blowing hideous leaves into piles and then standing with their hands on their hips for ten minutes, before they head off to do battle with some more wicked leaves.

What I want to know now is, whether my moaning and groaning is justified/ due to my age (I’m not that old though!) /or just part of my miserable persona?

Thanks for reading.

Dorne x

 

What it means to be a mum/grandma – on my daughter’s birthday..

janines-birthday-post

Monday will be my daughter’s birthday. At 5.34 pm she will be 36 years old. (Gosh, I feel old. But, in a warm fuzzy kind of way.) This post is by way of saying Happy Birthday to her.

Here’s what I remember.

She made her screaming entrance into the 80’s world on a snowy, Friday tea time. We were in a rather traditional, old hospital ( we had an extremely efficient and quite frankly scary matron! Think Hatty Jacques in the Carry on movies!) in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

I still vividly recall studying the tiny baby/ living doll in the crib at the bottom of the bed that I , YES  ME ! had just delivered.

I’d waited so long for her to arrive. She’d made me sick just about every day of my pregnancy and as is often the norm, had performed gymnastics – whenever I’d tried to rest. I’d been pretty sure I was about to give birth to a football team.

We’d had a dress rehearsal with the first labour pains… when I was up a step-ladder, painting her nursery in neutral colours. ( We didn’t know what we were getting back in my day.)

We’d  got the baby stuff together and had three of everything. One on, one in the wash and one ready. Generous folk had knitted me a huge collection of cardigans and booties in an assortment of colours. They’d made me bedding sets for her pram and cot and our tiny house was full of all things baby.

Favourite memories.

I loved pegging out her brilliant white terry nappies on the washing line. (In fact I made it my mission to get them the brightest white I could and soft… as, and for my baby’s bottom!)  I could have watched that beautiful statement to the world that I was now a mum,  blow in the breeze all day; except I had a few other things to do.

As she grew.

Sadly things didn’t work out between her dad and I and we went our separate ways. As a single parent there was  challenges to be met and overcome. Money was tight and very carefully budgeted. We had a house that was well lived in. It suited us and our numerous pets. She once wrote about our magical house.  I couldn’t have had a better compliment and I like to think that I got something right…though not everything. Does anyone?

Found on despicablememinions.org

Found on despicablememinions.org

.

I remarried and through the rebellious, teenage years we battled on. Aliens abducted her and left us with an argumentative. very messy and hormonal clone for quite a few years. They returned a more grown up, calmer version of her and peace returned.

Then she flew the nest.

” You see much more of your children once they leave home. “
   Lucille Ball (1911 – 1989)

 

Now she is grown.

With a four-year old son of her own, she is a brilliant, working mum and partner.

Next September my grandson will go to school and I hope I will get to stand outside school with the other mums and grandmas, as I collect him from school.

I love my grandson to bits.  My baby has a baby . I still find that amazing, even after four years. I’ll say it again… my baby has a baby!  Because, as parents our children grow up, but they’re still our babies, aren’t they? They have their own children and we get to watch them from a different angle, as they parent their children. Feeling proud of them does not even start to describe how you feel.

I peered into another crib and saw a familiar tiny baby/doll with perfect little fingers and toes. Two beautiful blue eyes looked back at me. Seeing my grandson for the first time was the most amazing experience. I won’t forget it.

“There came a moment quite suddenly a mother realized that a child was no longer  hers…without bothering  to ask or even give notice, her daughter had just grown up.”
Alice Hoffman

 

And so the cycle goes on.

Found on etsy.com

Found on etsy.com

Happy Birthday to my beautiful, clever and loving daughter. I will never be able to  thank you enough for making me a mum and grandma.

 

So, how about you? How do feel about being a parent/ grandparent? Do you remember how you felt when they were born? Do they continue to surprise you? (I’m guessing they do.)

Thanks for reading.

 

Dorne x

 

 

 

What about our children and their children?: the Brexit – Trump Show aftermath.

shit-happens-trump-2Here in the UK democracy has taken a hit twice in the same year. Ironically, the votes for CHANGE have been made under the banner of democracy. It could be a joke – if it wasn’t so damn sad and tragic.

Brexit was sold to UK folk as boosting our failing National Health Service, with money saved from not contributing to an evil EU. All migrants became potential terrorists and Brexit made folk fear their, pre-Brexit perfectly acceptable neighbours.

Let’s get our country back – was their motto. Let’s make our country great again.

I may be missing something here, but, my memories of life in a pre EU Britain involve coastlines and beaches that were quite frankly health risks. A swim in the sea amongst turds, condoms and god knows what else was something to savour. People and their rights counted for very little. And, we lived with the constant fear of another World War and consequently one that involved ever more sophisticated weapons of mass destruction.

 

Now fast forward to America and their version of Brexit… driven by a wish to make their country great again, banish Americans and residents of America who have a different religion, way of life and blah, blah, blah.

It’s tragically familiar. We live in a world where a minority of extremists are being allowed to render us stupid, do away with our democracy and push our development as so-called intelligent human beings, backwards. We’re ruled by the fear they manufacture.

We need to listen and take the lead from today’s generations.

They are the ones that will have to live with this damn mess. Ask them and they will tell you that they wanted to remain a part of the EU, yes, it’s not a perfect animal, but it wasn’t about to attack them and eat them up. They embrace the way folk meet and talk, try to find a common ground, agree to disagree and recognise that you can’t have your cake and eat it!

For some reason the older folk ,that influenced the results, think we can.

Hey Europe, we don’t want to be part of your smelly gang anymore, but, we still expect to play and be allowed to join in… with no commitments of friendship, or give and take.

What? we can’t? BOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

And now you’re going to get hard with us and exclude us? WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

But, we were once the great British Empire. You can’t do this to us.

America has now gone the same way.

Hey, we enjoyed this guy on The Apprentice and we should hire him.

He is hugely racist, sexist, lacks respect for women, can’t control his temper and hugely fancies himself and as Mr President. You’re hired! Oh, and watch out for your genitals… he just can’t help himself. If he sees beautiful he’s just got to kiss it and stuff.

And now he’s  THE PRESIDENT ELECT . He can do what he damn well likes.

Go on, give him THE box with the nukes in and watch him play.

Just like a child, he’ll build walls, knock em down and make up his game as he goes along.

He’ll take away affordable health care for the masses, cancel trade deals and accelerate global warming. It’s all about America…  right? Don’t even mention the racist card that he holds.

And now the whole  world is going to be appearing in this strange Truman Show gone very wrong. Just as Brexit cocked things up first,  we have  season 1 of The Trump show to look forward to. Only, it doesn’t stream on Netflix a la House of Cards. Frank Underwood would be an absolute pussy compared to the Trump.

But, I can’t get my head around the fact that the voters who forced these retrograde events are older. They probably own their own houses. Many of them no longer work and they are financially secure.

What about our children and their children?

Have they even considered the future generations, or is all about them? How they can improve their lifestyles , have MORE and hang everybody else.

Do they want a World War 3 so they having a matching set? Those were the good old days, hey?

 

But, what do I know? Perhaps these folk know something we don’t and they have just made the wisest decisions that will save us from our own stupidity and selfishness.. Maybe we’re not seeing the whole picture and things will work out just fine. Are we the selfish ones? Running scared? Lacking in vision?

For our children, their children and their children, I would love to be proved wrong and made to feel bad for voting against Brexit and for willing the lesser of two evils, Hillary ,into the White House.

But right now, I feel so guilty and powerless for not being able to influence/stop this shit that has happened.

Thanks for reading.

Dorne x